Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Books I've Loved: This Song Will Save Your Life
I loved this one. It's about finding your niche in the world, your tribe. And for me, that's one of the most powerful moments in anyone's life. Especially when you've never had a niche before.
Elise is a deliciously awkward protagonist. Her parents are divorced and she spends her weeks shuttling between them, spending a few nights with her record-store owning dad, then a few with her mother and her new family. She has no real friends and at the beginning of the book, has spent an entire summer studying every resource she can to make herself fit in when she goes back to school.
It doesn't work. You can't learn how to fit in or be popular from reading teen magazines, and buying a new wardrobe doesn't change who you are on the inside.
Still burning from this failure, Elise starts walking the streets at night when she can't sleep. She stumbles on an underground warehouse party and meets some girls who invite her to join them. Through them, she meets Char, the DJ who eventually lets her have a go at spinning the discs.
As soon as she has control of the music, Elise knows she's found her place in the world. With the same focus and determination she threw into her summer makeover, she teaches herself to DJ (with a little help from Char) and soon has the dance floor in the palm of her hand.
But can she make it to the top without hurting the people she now considers her friends? Her family?
I loved this book and read the whole thing in a single afternoon. It's what YA books are there for, to show awkward kids that no matter how awkward you feel, there is a niche for you somewhere. You just have to find it. And it doesn't hurt that the music Elise loves and plays is music I love too...
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.